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Future of Community and One Digital Experience

Community is the glue that holds SAP together, connecting us all, right across our ecosystem. Our vision for the future of community is to enable anyone on any device to collaborate, engage, network, and access relevant, quality community content across all SAP touch points. This year, I am really excited to share our plans with you to move further toward this vision.

You may have heard about an SAP program that started in early 2014 called One Digital Experience (1DX). The purpose of this project is to make it easy for anyone to do business with SAP online.

1DX Mandate slide.JPG

Our scope encompasses all of SAP’s digital experiences, with a focus on simplification and giving our audiences what they need, when they need it.

So what does this mean for SCN?

SCN is relevant for participants across our ecosystem, and has been identified as a key destination for Customers, Partners and Developers, our three core audiences. Community is the home of all “User Generated Content”, an incredibly valuable resource for all.

The Community Destination project is under the One Digital Experience program and is being led by Jeanne Carboni. The core team consists of key community subject matter experts, technology experts and designers, along with communication and change management staff. The extended team will include SAP Mentors and other community members. Jeanne will provide more information in a blog next week about our project approach and how we will work with the community to deliver an improved visitor experience.

Community Destination 2_17_2015_v3.jpg

In alignment with our vision for community, our project principles are:

  • A positive user experience for all visitors, including content consumers, contributors and moderators.
  • Quality content – not just an easy way to publish, not just gamification, not an ad farm.
  • Easy engagement amongst visitors.
  • Simple governance and community management.
  • Differences of opinions / perspectives are welcomed.
  • Clear vision to the project and up-to-date communication.
  • Best of breed technology, coupled with custom development to support these principles and provide key functions that members expect.

In order to achieve the vision, we will make significant platform changes over the next nine to ten months. From a technology perspective, we will move off of the current platform by the end of 2015, transitioning to a best of breed model for improved user experience and ease of moderation. We plan to move blogs to WordPress, questions and answers to AnswerHub,  and replace the rest of the required functionality with additional integrated solutions. More information on the details of the platform changes will be coming in March in a blog by Oliver Kohl .

What does this mean for you?

You will have the opportunity to provide input on what kind of experience you find valuable. In Q2 we will conduct user experience tests on initial designs to get your feedback. There will be beta opportunities in which you may participate. You will see major improvements with better features and functionality in blogs, Q&A, and moderation. You will have access to training and “getting started” information. You will be able to share feedback that may be incorporated into our sprints as part of the Agile project approach.

You are one of the most active and vibrant communities in the world, I know we can count on your help to achieve our vision. I’m excited by the possibilities and planned changes for this year and beyond. Join the discussion for the future of Community here. And please mention 1dxcommdest when you post so that we can more easily track your comments and questions.

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  • Thank you, Maggie for getting the word out about this innovative effort that will improve the experience of all community members and visitors to our site. I'm thrilled to be working on this project and looking forward to bringing the community into the project as our primary sounding board.



  • Hello Maggie,


    it's good get so much information on what you guys are planning. It sounds like you have a LOT on your plates.


    I just wasn't expecting that this new 1DX meant, SCN will get kind of split up to different pages(?).  The goal was/is to make everything simpler, but this:

    We plan to move blogs to WordPress, questions and answers to AnswerHub,  and replace the rest of the required functionality with additional integrated solutions.


    sounds like it will get more complicated. oO

    Or won't we, the users, notice the different underlying technologies and whatnot and it will all feel like one place (like SCN today?). I'm a bit confused. ^^





  • This looks like you picked a great team!


    Thanks for managing to keep Marilyn close by (and thanks to Marilyn for volunteering) - that means a lot to a big bunch of people here.

  • Thanks Maggie - and I hope @oliver_kohl and @jeanne_carboni and team are prepared for a long haul


    As Steffi Warnecke mentioned, my main concern is that some of the pain points we've experienced here are not exacerbated (and even put to rest???).


    This moment's pain points include tagging content (although I've heard that copying and pasting tags works well) and tagging users - that particular search is slow, so that for example I can see that Oliver and Jeanne will not be notified that I mentioned them.

    Needless to say, restricting the search results for users should let us have a hint as to which one of them is the 'real one' - the most current Tammy Powlas, for example. 

    But I am digressing.  I think if these individual 'best of breed' solutions can be seemlessly integrated, this will be a very exciting time for all of us!

    I'll look forward to hearing more about  1DX + SCN.

  • Hi everyone,


    To the questions about whether or not this is simpler, let me assure you that we are focused on a very simple user experience. @Oliver_Kohl, @Michael_Braun and team have been working diligently on an "activity aggregator that will seamlessly bring together blogs, Q&A, moderation, reporting and reputation/gamification. Initial demos have been very impressive.


    @Oliver_Kohl will be publishing a blog in March that explains it much better than I could ever attempt to do.


    Kind regards,



  • Maggie,


    This is brilliant news and something I have been tracking for a while, you have an all-star team with some of my favourite people in the world 🙂


    Good luck and if Jeanne Carboni and Oliver Kohl need anything let me know.


    I do have one question, is there any way to nominate a change to the current SCN for inclusion in the next one - I know Andy Silvey and I have an idea 😉







  • I feel a small pang of regret that New SCN, barely 3 years old, should be replaced. It's the right thing to do, but I have in some ways come to like it.


    In the large change cycle there were two major problems. First, the community, especially the superusers, were not well engaged. This meant that a number of the top 10 contributors left the community, which is a travesty. Second, the chosen technology platform was weak.


    I feel incredibly positive that both the people and technology have been well chosen. I don't want to single anyone out because someone will doubtless be left out, but I believe that the user community is well engaged and represented, and the technology leadership is sound, in the move to the New New SCN. Your team should be very proud.


    In terms of feedback, I should like to sow a few seeds.


    First, the concept of Customer/Partner/Developer feels odd. I'm a partner first, a customer, and sometimes a developer too. Would a paradigm about purpose of visit not be more apt? Prospect/Seller/Developer? That's not right either, but in 2015, most people wear multiple hats and visit multiple destinations. Labeling people Customer/Partner/Developer risks being uni-dimensional.


    Second, whilst I know there are reasons why SCN is a priority here, it's not the #1 pain point. The #1 pain point is SAP Service Marketplace, which has had a facelift over the last year and is now - dare I say it - utterly unusable. Many components don't work at all on a mobile device, and some components, e.g. SSCR, don't work on any browser combination apart from Windows/IE6. For the uninitiated, SSCR is required to get a development key to make any customer change in a SAP development object. If someone could focus some time on SMP, customers would be eternally grateful.


    Third, should seeds #1 and #2 not be related? There is an interaction between community and support, and it's unclear from a destination perspective why there would be multiple entry points between community and support. Can we not cross-pollinate this? Will New New SCN and New SMP just be a face-lift on the current services, or a real 2015-centric redefinition of customer experience?

    • I have to agree with John on the number 1 pain point.  I hear it from customers and partners all the time.  SCN is not perfect, Jive is not a particularly capable platform, but most of us are comfortable with it after 3 years and much work on its functionality (thanks to the SCN team for all the bug fixes!).  Many customers and partners come here first rather than Service MarketPlace because they can find what they need more easily.


      Regards, Mike

      SAP P&I Technology RIG


      • Well, people who did not get comfortable just left SCN, I guess. It's like the legend that one can learn to swim by being thrown into water lives on because those who could tell otherwise just didn't survive.


        Personally I've barely tolerated Jive and, from what I've heard, SCN moderators actually had even more issues with it than ordinary users. Couldn't be happier to see it go even if it means another turbulent migration. Good riddance and kudos to SAP for owning this and making the right decision. (Took a while though. )

    • Hi John


      Marketplace is getting another overhaul. There was a service support team booth at SAPPHIRENOW last year who had a pilot version (alpha) of what that can look like ~Fiori style based.


      A pilot is currently running to overhaul it, I've got access to that pilot and I'm giving feedback on it so let's discuss, we can get a meeting going or something to help tip the balance towards what we think is beneficial for customers / partners / anyone who will use that in the future.


      Best regards


      • That sounds like a good thing, but I don't understand.

        If I were reinventing the Customer UX, I'd start by thinking about roles - like Fiori. SCN and SMP are not two separate destinations in a role-based world.

        • Hi John


          Interesting to put it that way. It depends on what you're looking for I guess. I'll take it and hand it over as feedback. I'm currently not happy either with the way marketplace got overhauled but I'm not yet convinced either that I'll be happy with what is coming.


          Best regards


    • Hi Jonathan,

      Thank you for your comments and for highlighting the need to improve the Service Marketplace experience.


      I understand that there will be some announcements coming out publicly in the next week or two. Stay tuned.



  • Will there be space for marketing/thought leadership? I had heard that we were planning to focus on technical content vs. thought leadership around business trends, innovations, etc.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I think there is space for it already, but it needs to bring value to the community. Too often it just appears and without the author understanding the context of that particular community.  Then it gets rejected and the rounds of recriminations begin.  I think (but have nothing other than daily experience) that most people coming to SCN already know a bit about the products, but are looking for more knowledge of how products work, not why they should buy them.


      The present Rules of Engagement specifically exclude marketing content.  I, personally, hope it remains in effect.  We, SAP, already have plenty of marketing channels.  We can live just fine without adding SCN to the group.


      NOTE: Thought leadership is here aplenty.  Just look around at the content in any community to see where it is.  Check the leaderboards and look at their content to see what kind of Thought Leadership is available.  If you mean stuff like Gartner, again, we already have lots of visibility in places other than SCN.  If I Google "SAP" "HANA" "Applications", the first thing I see is an Ad for  I can find as much as I want to from that.  Or the first result for the Search beyond the adds it the Help page Applications powered by SAP HANA – SAP Help Portal Page.  Why would we need to add marketing to SCN?


      Cheers, Mike

      SAP P&I Technology RIG

  • SCN is relevant for participants across our ecosystem, and has been identified as a key destination for Customers, Partners and Developers, our three core audiences. Community is the home of all “User Generated Content”, an incredibly valuable resource for all.


    Two of the the three core audiences of SCN are audiences for marketing and sales. This is becoming more obvious with such blogs as How to use SMP3 sample code for SMP extensions that promote tools and functionality that are not accessible by anyone except SAP employees.


    "We will make it easy for anyone to do business with SAP online"




    Michael Appleby Feb 27, 2015 6:09 AM (in response to Carolyn Brock) said:

    If I Google "SAP" "HANA" "Applications", the first thing I see is an Ad for


    These two quotes encapsulate the problem I I am having with SCN.


    SCN should be about making the most effective use of SAP tools and technologies, not promoting vapourware, justifying bad design choices, or marketing partner technologies.


    Advertising doe not equal Thought Leadership.



  • Looks and sounds nice, so thanks for the (huge) effort your doing.

    I have just one question for now: will you finally be able to merge userids (I believe I have 4 now)?

  • Hi,


    for years I have asked SCN to go mobile. This browser dependent network is tiresome and completely outdated. That must be the lowest hanging fruit around.


    Good luck!